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Showing posts from May, 2013

#SummerResolution Series: #SimpleK12

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Have you made your Summer Resolution yet? Many people have already! Leave us a comment and tell us what your Summer Resolution is!  Over the next several weeks, I am going to present you with simple and refreshing ideas on how you can grow as an educator during this time of relaxation :) If you are a teacher and love technology, there is nothing better than learning from other like-minded people. About a year ago, I joined SimpleK12  as a free member, so that I could learn more about using iPads in the classroom. It enabled me to listen to live webinars on different educational technology topics that mattered to me. I have really enjoyed listening to world-class educators share their passions and ideas in simple 30 to 60 minute presentations. Best of all, I can participate in live chats and ask the experts questions! Want to be an iPad expert? Want to learn more implementing the Common Core? Need new technology ideas?  You can find a wealth of information in this online communit

Summer Resolution Series: #Edmodo

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Social networking is the name of the game in education today. If our students are already using it, why not use it in your classroom? Many school districts cringe at this comment, but it is true. We need to find ways to get our kids engaged and social networking is a great tool to teach valuable 21st Century skills. I have mentioned the free educational social network called Edmodo in the past, but today I am going to talk about how teachers can use it as part of my Summer Resolution series. It may not be a bad idea to experiment with Edmodo this summer because not only is it free, but it is easy to use.  Many teachers are creating their own Edmodo accounts to connect in virtual book discussion groups over the summer.Why not use it as a tool to connect with your dedicated colleagues over the summer? Several years ago, my colleagues and I used this as a tool to discuss Eric Jensen's book Teaching with Poverty in Mind . It was a great way to reflect and connect over the course

Summer Resolution Series: Get Organized

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As summer approaches, I thought it might be a good idea to explore (and re-explore) some technologies that can help us all become more effective and efficient in the classroom. My next several blog posts will feature need-to-know tools for educators to implement next school year. I call it my "Summer Resolution Series!" Some of the technologies have been featured before, but are worth the re-write! In order to provide relevant examples, I will also share how I have used the technologies. I recently listened to an audio version of the book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg . In one of the chapters, he mentions a study that was done with patients who had joint replacement surgery. It was found that people who wrote down specific recovery goals actually recovered faster from the surgery. Having an idea of what you want to accomplish is nothing new and is as old as time. We all keep track of what we want to do in different ways. Some of us fly by the seat of our pants,

Check out this #iPadEd App: Essential Skeleton

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I remember that I was not very motivated to learn about the human body as a seventh grade science student. If you know me, you know that I am a hands-on learner. This particular course was difficult because we were all expected to learn skeletal system the same way, by using a one-size-fits all graphic organizer. This was an academic barrier for me for several reasons: I couldn't actually manipulate an actual skeleton, which is how I learn best. I had to write down the names on a piece of paper.  Even after I wrote down the names, I couldn't pronounce them well enough to remember them! If my teacher's curriculum would have been Universally Designed , it could have addressed potential barriers in learning for students like myself. If I was a student sitting in class today, I would have needed the free Essential Skeleton App to access the curriculum and better understand the skeletal system.  Addressing Barrier # 1: The Need for Hands-On Learning Students i

Use This App to Connect Today with Yesterday!

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How do we engage students with history? How do you connect students with today and yesterday? World Book's This Day in History  is a unique iTunes App that provides students various ways of connecting and representing historical events, through  photos, illustrations, and even music! Using the App Do you know what happened in history on May 9th? I learned that American abolitionist, John Brown, was born in 1800. When I tapped on the hyperlink containing his name, I was able to learn from his bio that he had over 20 kids! Research from CAST  has discovered that the way that "students learn is as different as their DNA." Students often interpret and interact with information differently; therefore  providing students with options on how they perceive information is helpful ( Universal Design for Learning ). We may think that this is difficult; however, I found several examples of this in this App. For example, I tapped on archaeologist Howard Carter's bio an

MyScript Calculator is an Awesome App!

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I remember my seventh grade Math teacher always used to tell us that we had to "write neatly" or he wouldn't grade our work. He would also have us use an entire forest of scrap paper to write our answers down! When he was satisfied, he would heat up some pasta and watch us from afar! Oh memories! In all seriousness, I had my Math teacher in mind when I found the MyScript Calculator App in the iTunes store for both iPads and iPhones. It would have made seventh grade, so much easier! How does it work? MyScript has users write a mathematical expression and converts the numbers and symbols into text. Then the fun begins! It solves your problem! Whether its exponents, basic operations, or Trigonometry expressions, MyScript helps users interact and engage with Math in a whole new way. Can you imagine the implications for hands-on learners? Sometimes learners need another way to represent material in order to understand it. The interaction with MyScript represents gives h

Post # 200: Vine

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I cannot believe it! After starting this blog over 2 years ago, I am finally on post number 200! It has been amazing to see the change in educational technology in just a short amount of time. I have also seen an evolution in social media too. MySpace to Facebook to Twitter to Instagram to... With this theme in mind, I want to introduce you to a new social media tool called Vine . If you are not familiar with Twitter, users are asked to compose messages in 140 characters or less. Vine takes this same idea and applies it to video clips. This iPhone App allows users to upload and post videos to Vine for free. Users can also share on Twitter and Facebook. This application is very much like Instagram, where users can follow and interact with other users. Users can also follow trends, editors picks, etc. through featured hashtags. In a culture obsessed with sharing bits and pieces of their life on the Internet, this app has the potential to become the next "big thing" lik